The Art Teachers’ Association of Ireland is one of the longest established Subject Associations in Ireland.

It was set up in 1950 by Patrick Heney. It is run on a voluntary basis by and for qualified Art Teachers. We are the formal voice of Art teachers in Ireland and have a representative on SARG. We also have close working relationships with professional educational bodies such as the NCCA and the SEC.

The aims of the Art Teachers Association are, as a professional body to further art education throughout the country. To strive by all appropriate means to encourage schools to recognise the value of art as an integral part of the educational process. To provide communication and exchange of ideas among art teachers. To provide a forum for the regional branches who form the association and to act as the official organisation of art teachers.

Eileen Mooney



Susan Lynch



Sinead McCabe

Hon. Secretary and Treasurer



Hon. Membership Officer and Website Administrator


Nollaig Lynch

Iondaí na nGaelcholáistí Agus Scoileanna Gaeltachta


Clodagh O’ Hara

ATAI TUI Union Representative


Jean Bourke

ATAI ASTI Union Representative


History of ATAI

From little acorns do mighty Oak trees grow…The Same could be said for the ATAI. From its beginnings in a living room in Clontarf in 1950, where discussions that centered on the promotion of Art, Craft & Design Education and the improvement of the positions of Art Teachers, the ATAI has evolved into a national force.

We still face some of the issues that the founders aimed to overcome. In the summer of 1951, the formulation of ways and means of founding an Art Teachers Association was brought forward a step further.

Permission was granted from the then Director of the National College of Art & Design, to place a notice in the hall of the College. This note was for the attention of all qualified art teachers (and teachers in training) of a proposal to form an Art Teachers Association. In addition a letter was printed in the morning and evening newspapers explaining points in support of the formation of an association, and inviting art teachers interested to attend an inaugural meeting to he held on Saturday 27th September, 1952 in Jury’s Hotel, Dame Street, Dublin.

An extract from the minutes of this inaugural meeting reads as follows:

“It was decided that the purpose of the Association should be, to foster art teaching in all schools, to work for improved conditions of teaching and equipment, and to co-ordinate the working of art classes in general”

A Committee was formed by the following people:

President: Patrick Heney
Vice-President: Sean Pearse
Hon. Treasurer: Mary Mc Mahon
Hon. Secretary: Reginald J. Hobbs

The Committee was instructed to meet, as soon as possible, to draw up a Constitution and to present the same to the next general meeting fixed for Wednesday 1st November, 1952 at Jury’s Hotel, Dame Street.